Review: Fair Game


Director:Doug Liman

Cast:Naomi Watts, Sean Penn, Bruce McGill

Running Time:104.00


I really enjoy political thrillers and Fair Game fit the bill to a tee. I found the story of Valerie Plame quite fascinating. The movie portrays a more Hollywood version of the true to life story, but I feel it does a good job delivering the details of what happened with an entertainment oriented view.

Fair Game gives us a suspense-filled glimpse into the dark corridors of political power.  The film is a riveting action-thriller based on the autobiography of real-life undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame, whose career was destroyed and marriage strained to its limits when her covert identity was exposed by a politically motivated press leak.  As a covert officer in the CIA's Counter-Proliferation Division, Valerie leads an investigation into the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.  Her husband, diplomat Joe Wilson, is drawn into the investigation to substantiate an alleged sale of enriched uranium from Niger.  But when the administration ignores his findings and uses the issue to support the call to war, Joe writes an editorial outlining his conclusions and ignites a firestorm of controversy

I found it weird that Doug Liman was chosen as director for this film. He is mostly known for directing movies such as Swingers and Mr. and Mrs Smith, so I was interested on how he would tackle a more drama laced project. I think he was spot on with this one.  It's mature, smart and engaging and, critically, strikes a new tone for Liman's work, suggesting he's got plenty of versatility.

Acting wise, Naomi Watts and Sean Penn make an excellent on screen duo. Watts played her character (Valerie Plame) with conviction which heightened the since of believability.  Aside from the fact both women look alike, Watts sells the weight of responsibility that must have been on Plame's shoulders with such confidence and impressive restraint, that she's able to keep us involved throughout. Penn played his role as (Joseph Wilson) like the seasoned acting pro he is.  Both performances helped propel the movie and keep the drama flowing. 

The politics do tend to take away from the entertainment value, and while there's a valid story to be told and message to be shared, anyone who followed the actual events on the news could figure out what was going to happen next.  Still I found it hard to turn my eyes away from the story unfolding on the screen. 



About Micael Mirza


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